We were originally going to title this article ‘the best podcasts to kick your commute up a gear’ – which seemed a worthwhile pursuit when we were all still bored stiff waiting for the next train or bus to ship us to our respective offices. But then ‘it’ happened. The elephant in the room. The same room, or rooms, we’ve been bored stiff in for weeks now.
So while not many are seeking an escapist podcast series to take them away from their commuting ennui anytime soon, we are still needing to cure another curious case of boredom blues. And that’s where these 12 recommendations come in – a catalogue of some of the most informative, enlightening and entertaining podcasts for you to get stuck into during lockdown and the weeks ahead.
The Best Comedy Podcasts
What’s the only thing more embarrassing than re-reading your teenage diary? Performing it all out in front of a live audience. That’s the premise of Mortified, a podcast that asks people to read out extracts of their adolescent ramblings out loud to total strangers.
Funny and thought-provoking, you’ll hear all manner of teenage philosophy, stories about earth-shattering love affairs that weren’t to be, questionable song lyrics and parents who just wouldn’t get off your back – followed by a debrief with the author about how it made them into the person they are today.
No Such Thing As A Fish
Hosted by four researchers from the BBC quiz show QI, each weekly episode of this podcast sees the hosts discussing the four favourite facts they’ve discovered that week.
Did you know that Michaelango faked trimming down the nose on his David statue when asked to do so? Or that Tom Cruise sent 100 cakes to Louis Theroux’s grandmother for her 100th birthday? Well, expect plenty more where they came from.
The Best Wellbeing & Fitness Podcasts
Gwyneth Paltrow’s first foray into men’s wellness, the Goopfellas podcast is hosted by two men with unique experiences to bring to the table: Chef Seamus Mullen, who almost died from rheumatoid arthritis, and functional medicine practitioner Will Cole.
Each episode sees a physical or mental health-related topic tackled by the hosts themselves or with help from a visiting expert. Subjects vary widely, from intermittent fasting to relationships, so it’s easy to stay interested. So, if you’re looking to be the best version of yourself, this is a great place to start.
The Weekly BJ
Hosted by BJ Gaddour, a former editor and cover star of the US edition of Men’s Health turned personal trainer, this podcast is for guys who already know their way around a gym.
Featuring a series of experts as well as next-level tips from the host, Gaddour also offers daily Instagram tutorials and playlists to complement your workout. In short, The Weekly BJ isn’t a podcast, it’s a lifestyle.
The Best Food & Drink Podcasts
Bon Appetit Foodcast
How does something as tangible as food translate to a medium based solely on listening, we hear you ask? Well, food-centric podcasts are a mixed bag at best, but the Foodcast from American gastro mag Bon Appetit is proof it can work. With a rotating cast of staff members speaking to some of the coolest people on the international food scene, there’s no real set agenda.
Sometimes it will be chefs talking about their recipes in the magazine or how to improve your cooking technique, and other times it’ll be a discussion on the latest trends in eating out. There is an entire 40-minute episode dedicated entirely to beans, and we couldn’t stop listening.
Jonny, Brad and Rob founded The Craft Beer Channel on Youtube our of their extreme passion for craft beer. And last year they expanded their empire with The Bubble, a podcast dedicated to discussing what’s happening in the ale industry in the UK and across the globe.
The podcast sees the trio speaking to people making waves in the beer industry, as well as beyond the hops world on how wider pop culture trends might affect your pint.
The Best Fashion & Art Podcasts
Hosted by fashion journalist and noted Savile Row presence Aleks Cvetkovic, Handcut Radio brings together interviews with a cross-section of the most stylish and interesting people on the menswear scene.
Big names from the fashion world like US Esquire’s Nick Sullivan, influencer Simon Crompton, and street style photographer Milad Abedi have all shared their thoughts and life experiences on the show. The true joy of Handcut Radio though, is that even if you don’t recognise the interviewee, there’s always an interesting story Cvetkovic has found for you to discover.
Frame & Sequence
Much like Handcut Radio, each episode of Frame & Sequence sees host Todd Ritondaro seek out and speak to an industry expert about their techniques and life experiences – only this time, it’s all about photography. Whether you’re already an expert snapper or can’t even get an iPhone into focus, there’s a story here to inspire you.
The Best History Podcasts
Now in its seventh year on the air, Revolutions takes a deep dive into the revolutionary waves that have shaken the world since the English Civil War redefined political protest and revolution in the 17th century. And when we say deep dive, we mean deep.
There have been ten seasons so far, all of different lengths. But the longest, dedicated to the French Revolution, runs to a staggering 55 episodes with 5 supplements.
Thankfully, host Mike Duncan’s laidback style delivers mind-boggling detail with the kind of dry humor that makes it impossible to stop listening.
You’re Dead To Me
Founded by pop culture historian Greg Jenner, You’re Dead To Me pairs an expert in the field and a stand-up comedian to talk about a specific historical event or person. Whether it’s dispelling myths or shedding light on something lesser known, this is a podcast dedicated to having a laugh about our past and giving credit to the people who’ve shaped pop culture through time.
The Best Self Development Podcasts
The Diary Of A CEO
One of several rising British business stars to have truly harnessed social media and all its powers, 28-year-old CEO Steven Bartlett is the dynamic face of millennial go-getting. What started as more of a vocalised diary on Bartlett’s life wins and losses, has turned into a holistic portal on success featuring discussions with contemporaries in the UK scene, from Gymshark owner Ben Francis to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and healthy eating hero Deliciously Ella.
The Tim Ferris Show
The best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris has been called a cross between business legend Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk by The New York Times, which pretty accurately sums up the self-development advice covered in his massively successful podcast. Ferris’ hyper-intelligence shines brightly throughout, not least in his conversations with some of modern days sharpest minds including Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Wolverine himself Hugh Jackman.